Sony facing class-action lawsuit over data breach by North Koreans

Posted on: December 19th, 2014 by Steve Larson
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Data SecurityA short time ago, it was revealed that a massive computer breach had exposed the personal information of thousands of current and former Sony employees.  The U.S. Government has said that North Korea was behind the hacking.

Lawyers representing two former Sony Pictures employees filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles this week. The 45-page complaint on behalf of former and current employees alleges that the Culver City studio was negligent by ignoring warnings that its system was subject to hacking.  According to the complaint, Sony “failed to secure its computer systems, servers and databases, despite weaknesses that it has known about for years” and “subsequently failed to timely protect confidential information of its current and former employees from law-breaking hackers.”

Hackers began releasing sensitive data after the studio’s security breach became public on Nov. 24. The group, calling itself Guardians of Peace, has released data including thousands of pages of emails from studio chiefs, salaries of top executives, and Social Security numbers of 47,000 current and former employees.

There has also been a series of bombshell emails released from top executives, including thousands of emails from the studio’s co-chairman, Amy Pascal. Some have included exchanges with producer Scott Rudin over whether President Obama prefers black-themed films such as “The Butler.” Pascal and Rudin have apologized for their remarks.

The breach is expected to cost Sony Pictures tens of millions of dollars as the company rebuilds its computer network, conducts a forensic investigation of the attack and deals with the legal fallout.

Sony cancelled the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview,” a comedy depicting a fictional assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, as a result of the hack.